Each year the BIC invites one of our outstanding alumni to return to campus for Homecoming and share a lecture with our students, faculty, and alumni. This year we are thrilled to have Kelly Driscoll (’09), the president and founder of HEYDAY Cold-Brew Coffee in Austin, Texas, as our distinguished guest. We recently interviewed Ms. Driscoll to learn more about her journey since graduating from Baylor. We hope you enjoy the interview, and we hope you will join us for her lecture on October 11 at 2:30 pm in Marrs McLean Science Building, room 101. Ms. Driscoll will speak on the topic “Living the Examined Life at Baylor and Beyond.”
What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?
I graduated from Baylor in August of 2009 with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Sociology.
What has been your journey since graduating from Baylor?
Following graduation, I was on the hunt for a career path that tapped both my entrepreneurial interests and passion for working with people. A much more challenging endeavor than expected! The search for my first job alone taught me a lot about humility, relationship building and keeping an open mind.
The first opportunity I found was at a winery in Gruene TX, where you never knew who was going to walk in the door. A last minute call led me to Fara Coffee, a local roaster based in Austin. Through seven years working in sales and marketing at Fara, I found a true passion for coffee. I fell in love with the global impact of the coffee industry; that something so simple as a cup of coffee travels through hundreds of hands and thousands of miles just to reach the consumer. In this, I saw the opportunity to create real change, a way to address both human need and make a positive difference through the delivery.
In the Spring of 2016, my partner (in both life & business) and I launched HEYDAY Cold Brew Coffee. HEYDAY was built with the intention to bring refreshing, great tasting cold brew coffee with clean ingredients to market. More than just a coffee company, HEYDAY is all about celebrating good times and inspiring a healthy, positive lifestyle.
What does your daily work look like now at HEYDAY? What do you enjoy most about your work–or what is something you are currently excited about in your work?
Every day is different! Growing from a local Austin company to one with national distribution, we are continually met with new opportunities and challenges. The aspect that brings me the most joy is innovation – the thrill of bringing a new product to market and seeing our customers enjoy first-hand. Beyond being a continual learning experience, I love that HEYDAY gives me the freedom and flexibility to live a balanced life – in health, creativity, relationships and career.
How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?
Most importantly, exploring new concepts and experiences. Motivation to say “yes” to experiences outside my comfort level and reflect on what lessons come about. Never stop learning and exploring. Through personal interaction, reading, and travel, I have deep appreciation for and interest in other cultures.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in BIC?
The community feel of the BIC, fascinating professors, and lasting friendships with like-minded students. Each field trip was a highlight, a favorite would be the Japanese Garden in Ft. Worth – a peaceful inspirational retreat from school life. As an out-of-stater, I really appreciated seeing such unique destinations throughout Texas and their tie-ins to our curriculum.
Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?
Socrates’ “an unexamined life is not worth living.” One of the very first discussions in BIC, remains a core philosophy I continue to reflect on to this day. The importance of exploration, self-understanding, and empathy for other people and their perspectives.
What are your goals for the future?
I hope to see HEYDAY built into a revolutionary brand that ultimately provides value to our customers and partners. I aspire to continue to travel, seeking inspiration around the world, and spend my time working to make a positive difference where I can.
Do you have any advice for current BIC students?
If you would have told me ten years ago that I’d be where I am today, I would be equally surprised and unsurprised. Surprised because at that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation. Unsurprised because I’ve always felt motivated to do something beyond a typical job and kept up the work ethic to keep building on the foundation we receive in school.
Things will not turn out as planned, there will be many detours, but stay true to what motivates you and be willing to take an alternate path. The real value is in the journey and the time we have right now – it is all we truly have. Take the time to enjoy where you are, who you are with, and share kindness with others. Make today your Heyday!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to attend Baylor and participate in the BIC! Thank you for offering the chance to share my story, I hope it inspires others to keep learning & exploring their passions.